Six weeks later, another MRI showed that the tumor was growing back. Schultz claimed Teo should have referred him for radiation therapy or chemotherapy, which is standard treatment.
Teo denied telling Schultz to “keep those treatments up his sleeve” as the tumor progressed.
An MRI performed in July 2019 showed the rapid progression of Schultz’s tumor. Although the scans were personally sent to Teo as Schultz’s attending physician, Teo claimed he did not review them, instead delegating the review to his surgical colleague.
Another MRI was performed at the end of February 2020. The tumor had reached its worst stage, a glioblastoma or GBM grade 4.
Jon Weingart, a professor of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University in the US, says: “If brain tumors were sharks, the…GBM would be the great white man…because of his almost unstoppable aggression.”
Weingart has explained that the standard treatment for GBM is surgery, followed by daily radiation and oral chemotherapy for six and a half weeks, then six months of oral chemotherapy five days a month.
Schultz suffered a stroke during Teo’s second surgery in March 2020 and lost the ability to move on one side of his body, as well as visual and cognitive impairment.
In his medical negligence lawsuit against Teo, Schultz said there was a “foreseeable risk” that he would suffer harm and have a shorter life expectancy as a result of Teo’s treatment, including the fact that he did not refer him to an oncologist.
Teo denied having acted negligently. He said his behavior in performing both surgeries and his post-operative interactions with Schultz were “consistent with the behavior of his colleagues.” Teo also claimed through his attorneys that Schultz’s “own negligence resulted in his injuries, losses and damages.”
On August 2, Judge Cavanagh approved the settlement without Teo admitting liability, thus avoiding the seven-day hearing scheduled to begin August 7. Given Schultz’s cognitive impairment and his limited life expectancy, possibly less than a year, the judge said he was satisfied the settlement, the terms of which are confidential, was “a good outcome.”
Meridian Lawyers’ Tom Lyons, who represents Teo and his company, The Center for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery, declined to comment.
Shine Lawyers’ Alix Shanahan said the firm was “happy to have reached an expedited settlement on behalf of Grant and Julieann Schultz”. Her customers declined to comment.
In 2019, another patient, Michelle Smith, also received a confidential settlement after suing Teo for professional negligence after operating on the wrong side of her brain.
Last month, Teo was found guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct in two disastrous surgeries that proved the risks of his futile surgeries far outweighed the potential benefits. It was also found that Teo had misled patients about the risks and failed to obtain informed consent. It was also found that the neurosurgeon had improperly charged a fee of $35,000 before operating on a patient.
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